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The living building challenge was created by the Cascadia Green Building Council to guide commercial development that would be net-zero energy and net-zero water use. Active solar energy production, then, is anticipated to provide the building with its net yearly energy consumption. The building has a 4 degree shift in orientation per floor to maximize proper solar orientation, which dictates a more organic look to the structure. The building will contain offices for non-profits that collectively make up the Center as well as a campus facility for the Oregon University System.
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Right Click to save picture or tap and hold for seven second if you are using iphone or ipad. This is a perfect example of how to make a smaller space look larger through the right layout and color scheme. We did this as a way of changing the nature of this discussion, to motivate the leading thinkers to push further faster. We can look at setbacks from the 1970s on really innovative technologies and designs that were just really bad to look at, and uncomfortable to be in. A rendering of a Living Building science classroom at the Bertschi School in SeattleImage: Chris Hellstern and Stacy Smedley, KMD ArchitectsQ.
It tends to be people who get the problem and the challenge that we’re in, and they want to be a part of a solution. Based in Portland, the Oregon Sustainability Center has stepped up to the challenge as they are working to build the first high rise of its kind to follow this standard. Four separate solar panel installation systems will be incorporated into the building to maximize solar output while shading the glazing from midday solar gain. A shallow oval floor plate allows natural lighting to replace artificial during peak occupancy hours.
The occupants are expected to work at developing an experimental framework in the building to maintain a net zero energy, water and waste foot print.

There were already green building standards, most notably LEED, when you launched the Living Building Challenge in 2006. If climate change is our most pressing ecological threat, one could argue that energy should trump just about every other consideration for buildings.
Yeah, but we require net zero energy for all buildings, which is not a small thing to achieve.
But that doesn’t mean that other issues are not important, or that they may prove to be less important in the long run. We are trying to make sure that people want Living Buildings, that they want solar buildings, and they want to build energy efficiency. Water systems are designed to minimize consumption and maximize reuse before final treatment and discharge.
It also allows occupants to be no more than 30 feet from an operable window for fresh air and cooling needs, a requirement for the Living Building Challenge. The building program is also to be a classroom environment for outside parties to learn how zero energy design and implementation works.
They must build on previously developed, sites and meet measurements of livability, social equity, and beauty. Yet 70-some projects are striving to rise to the Living Buildings standard, including the 11-story Oregon Sustainability Center in Portland and the Bullitt Foundation building in Seattle (none has been completed and certified thus far). For the most part, green building standards are all about helping you become a little less bad.
It was the classic reason you put something on the market: because there is nothing quite like it out there. History is filled with examples of things we thought were the top priority turning out not to be the top. There’s a tendency to see the climate threat as distinct from environmental health issues, but it sounds like you want to approach them all together. The point of our whole movement is to create abundance of life, and a healthy ecosystem for all future generations.

I hope these things are all banned just like we’ve banned certain things like asbestos and lead.
There are already so many LEED buildings, so how do you distinguish yourself by going further?
No conventional AC will be used, natural ventilation and ground source heat pumps will provide all the necessary heating and cooling. I chatted recently with McLennan, CEO of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, about the green building movement he’s working to build. Given what we know about environmental issues around the globe, we need to move much quicker.
In fact, what the environmental movement should teach us above all else is that the moment we take a singular view and try to solve a problem in isolation, that’s the moment we cause problems for ourselves in other areas.
If you tear down a ten-story building, you can’t replace it with a two-story building.
So the architect and owner have to write essays that describe why this building is beautiful, what was done to create a wonderful place. There are a lot of projects that don’t register because they want to see how far they can get before they register. User energy consumption will be carefully monitored with feedback and active systems to encourage the occupant’s management of energy usage. There are a lot of people who read about it and say, ‘Yeah, this is how we should be doing building. There are always exceptions in life, so there are exceptions in this system, but for 99 percent of projects this holds true. So as long as we need to eat and breathe, toxics should be an important thing to watch for.

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